Meet the Qaddafis: Hannibal Edition

MORTEN JUHL/AFP/Getty
Hannibal Muammar Qaddafi

Every tin-pot dictator needs a reckless playboy for a son. In the case of Muammar al-Qaddafi, it's Hannibal — the fifth of seven sons — who has such a bad-boy rep that even the State Department backgrounder on him is titled "Thug Life."

Hannibal's European adventures have made him about as popular on the continent as his Carthaginian namesake. State Department cables — public thanks to WikiLeaks — detail a EuroZone rap sheet that includes:

  • a 2001 arrest in Rome for "attacking an individual with a fire extinguisher and injuring police officers"
  • a 2004 arrest in Paris for "speeding on the wrong side of the Champs Elysees while inebriated"
  • a 2005 arrest in France for "beating his pregnant girlfriend, who refused to let him into their hotel room"

 

According to the leaked cables, Hannibal's criminal behavior culminated in a four-year suspended sentence in France, and in his being barred from traveling in Europe for three years. 

His return to the continent caused an even deeper international rift: The young Qaddafi and his pregant wife travelled to Geneva in the summer of 2008 to await the birth of their child, bringing along a substantial entourage. But two members of the help — a Moroccan man and a woman from Tunisia — contacted Swiss authorities to report they were being physically abused by Hannibal and his wife. When the Swiss cops entered the Qaddafis' hotel room, Hannibal's bodyguards jumped them. Hannibal and his wife were arrested but ultimately returned to Tripoli on bail. The resulting kerfluffle — over questions of diplomatic immunity and percieved disrespect —  led the Swiss ambassador to declare Swiss-Libyan relations "dead" in 2009, according to a separate WikiLeaked cable.

The young Qaddafi's violent European exploits continued in 2009 when London police were summoned to Hannibal's £4,000-a-night hotel suite in response to a woman's screams. They found Hannibal's wife with a broken nose. Three of his henchmen were arrested, but Hannibal again slipped away claiming diplomatic immunity.

Check out this Daily Mail story for pics of Hannibal and his buxom bride. After the Libyan regime is toppled, these two may just have a future in reality TV.